The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) is the leading organization promoting walkable, mixed-use neighborhood development, sustainable communities and healthier living conditions.
For nearly twenty years, CNU members have used the principles in CNU's Charter to promote the hallmarks of New Urbanism, including:
- Livable streets arranged in compact, walkable blocks.
- A range of housing choices to serve people of diverse ages and income levels.
- Schools, stores and other nearby destinations reachable by walking, bicycling or transit service.
- An affirming, human-scaled public realm where appropriately designed buildings define and enliven streets and other public spaces.
Established by co-founders Andres Duany, Peter Calthorpe, Elizabeth Moule, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Stefanos Polyzoides and Dan Solomon and supported today by distinguished board members and other thought-leaders from the worlds of urban design, development, academia, citizen activism, and government policy, CNU works to deliver these hallmarks to communities across North America and overseas on multiple scales. Whether it be in brownfields, emerging growth areas, established cities, or small town suburbs, New Urbanism reinforces the character of existing areas in making them walkable, sustainable, and vibrant, revitalizing and energizing communities to their true potential. The principles of New Urbanism are also central to making whole regions more livable, coherent and sustainable.
With a history of forming productive alliances, CNU has been at the forefront of efforts to reform how we design and build communities and their infrastructure.
Our partners have included:
- US Department of Housing and Urban Development on Hope VI
- US Environmental Protection Agency on Smart Growth
- Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Federal Highway Administration on the new manual for Context-Sensitive Urban Thoroughfares
- The US Green Building Council and Natural Resources Defense Council in creating the nation's first rating system for green neighborhoods, the newly released LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND)
- CNU's founding Charter is a source for the Sustainable Communities partnership of the HUD, EPA and the US Department of Transportation. At CNU's 18th annual Congress, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced that LEED-ND and the concept of location efficiency will be used in the evaluation of all HUD grant applications.
CNU takes a proactive, multi-disciplinary approach to restoring our communities. Members are the life of the organization – they are the planners, developers, architects, engineers, public officials, investors and community activists who create and influence our built environment, transforming growth patterns from the inside out, and making it easier for people to live healthy lives. Whether it's bringing restorative plans to hurricane-battered communities in the Gulf Coast, turning dying malls into active mixed-use neighborhoods, or reconnecting isolated public housing projects to the surrounding fabric, new urbanists are providing leadership in community building.
Our relationship with our members allows us to do more than just talk about the problems of the built environment. Together, through our Initiatives and our annual Congress gathering, we are creating tools that make it easier to put New Urbanism into practice around the world.